Standards

State Aid Stories

Introduction

State Aid is tied to Montana's Public Library Standards. This page includes descriptions of how State Aid has improved the ability of many libraries to meet or exceed a Public Library Standard's level. Examples include training for board members and staff, an increase in open hours, sufficient Internet access for staff, continuing education opportunities, a facility upgrade, promotional materials, increased programming and services, expansion of collections or engaging in community planning to develop a library’s overall strategic plan that define a library’s core services of value to their community.

Choose a Year

Belgrade Community Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
Belgrade Community Library has developed and adopted, for the very first time, a long needed and overdue modest Technology Plan. We have had no succession plan for technology and absolutely no funding to improve upon or add new technology. The State Aid funding is helping us put our computers on a graduated replacement plan. In the past we tried to continue fixing broken hardware and patching problems that would not, in reality, go away. Now we are hopeful that a replacement plan will eliminate wasted dollars on technology maintenance due to outdated hardware.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
Continued, daily use of our computers. Less staff time spent on trying to trouble shoot or replace broken computers/hardware More efficient systems are delivering better service to our patrons.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Our first Technology Replacement Plan.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No Response.
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Billings Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
The $37,106.90 of additional State aid was applied to a WiFi system that increased coverage in our new library from 1 access point to 39 programmable wireless access points.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
The result is that patrons have access to an extremely robust wireless internet connection in all corners of our 66,000 square foot library. Individuals not only use WiFi in open areas of the Library, but also in all of our meeting rooms, which have strong wireless signals.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
The strength and reliability of the WiFi coverage enables greater utilization by individuals and groups for programming and meeting needs.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Because we are in a new facility, many local, state and federal officials have toured the building in the last year. Robust wifi is always noted as a service we offer the community.
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Boulder Community Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
We used the increase in State Aid this year to purchase two new computers and to expand our storytime programs.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
We purchased one of the computers primarily for the adult section of the library. Many adults in the area have been laid off and are now job searching and/or continuing their education online. These activities take a lot of time and many were frustrated with how long the wait was. The new computer definitely helps with the wait. The second computer was purchased for our afterschool "Lego Club". They have entered into the world of robotics and what a fun way to learn about computer programming! We average 16 kids at every meeting. That is 16 kids that are safe, learning something new, and learning to work as a team. We took the rest of the proceeds and purchased supplies for hour storytimes. We bought a felt board, purchased board books for "Books and Babies", sensory bins for the kids to explore in, and craft supplies for the kids to make and take home.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
The purchase of the computers. We were able to reach out to many people with that purchase. We are now proctoring exams for college students, having health care navigators come and sign people up for health insurance and have our kids learning about computer programming. One of the college students we have been proctoring exams for just graduated from Columbia University. She is 55 years old! Everyday we are able to help someone "discover" something new about themselves. When she first started coming to the library, she was barely able to turn the computer on. Now she is a college graduate.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
I have spoken with our county commissioners and our mayor, but they are about it.
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George McCone Memorial County Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
Our check this year from MSL for per capita was $1526.13. In past years, the check has been around $396.00. We have been having structural problems with our library and the commissioners asked us to send out a survey to see how the county felt about purchasing a new building or repairing the one we are in now. With the extra per capita dollars, we were able to send out surveys, with a post paid return envelope, to all residents of McCone County. The majority of residents wanted to see our building repaired. As a result of being able to send out the surveys with our extra money, repairs are starting on our building June 21, 2014. We have a limited budget for our Children's Reading programs and we used our per capita money to buy supplies and prizes for the Summer Reading program. We purchased a new computer for the Director with per capita money. We started a new program for adults that we call "Tea Time". We have several ladies that come in on Thursdays for tea and goodies. We use per capita money to fund this program.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
We are making our library a much safer place for our patrons to visit. This next year, we are looking into offering classes on using the internet, Excel, and Word so we will be using some of the money to finance these workshops. In the past we have had Open House every year at Christmas. This per capita money has allowed us to buy patron gifts to give away on that day. We celebrated the 80th anniversary of our library and the per capita money helped us with that celebration.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Sending out surveys prompted the commissioners to help us apply for a loan to cover the cost of fixing the structure of our building. We were able to hire a contractor right away. The building was in need of repair to be a safer place for our patrons to visit. We hope to be able to have more work done internally. Having our front steps redone will make it safer for patrons to come in - especially this winter. We were able to purchase some new books for the summer reading program and also order a special prize for those that attended. In December, the businesses in town have Open Houses in appreciation to all the customers they have had during the year. Being able to give them a small "thank you" gift during this time is a great way to let them know how much we appreciate their patronage.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Not yet. Our board will be working on an article to send them.
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Great Falls Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
Our increase in funding helped us maintain the programs, services and collections we currently have in the library. Our library has experienced a decrease in local funding over the past two years, resulting in loss of staff and hours open to the public during the current fiscal year. While we are hopeful that this is a temporary situation, the increase in state funding has enabled us to continue funding purchases for collections including membership in MontanaLibrary2Go at the same levels as previous years. While we are open to the public less hours, we are still able to offer quality service and collections that our community has come to expect and depend on. We could not have done this without the increase in state aid.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
We continue to offer quality service, programs and collections to our community. While we are not open as many hours, community members still expect and receive the services they rely on from their public library.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
While the decrease in staff and hours has been difficult for the community and library staff, we are proud that we are able to offer library services that continue to enrich and enable our community members to grow and learn. These difficulties have made clear our community's belief in the value of the library and its importance to the community across all age and socioeconomic groups. We have heard from many community members how much they value the library as a cornerstone of the community, a venue for learning and personal growth and as an important social and public space open to everyone.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Mitch Tropila, Senator and now Representative-Elect, continues to be a member of our library board. He is a tireless advocate of not only our library, but all libraries across the state. We look forward to attending Legislative Day 2015 in Helena to continue to share the importance of libraries and their services and the importance of state aid to libraries in continuing to serve each community.
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Harlem Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
With the additional state aid money I have purchased a power point projector to use at the library. This will help with presentations by guests for programs and for use in trainings.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
We have many programs for community information and entertainment. This will help presenters who have power point presentations. Before we had to borrow a projector and it did cause some inconvenience.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
No Response.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No Response.
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ImagineIF Kalispell

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
We have several initiatives made possible, in part, by our 2014 State Aid. One of those is our Programming and Outreach Librarian. After reorganizing post-retirement staff duties, we were able to upgrade a staff position from a library assistant to a Professional Librarian. We hired a Programming and Outreach Librarian in December 2013. This position is responsible for monthly experience zones for Adults, young adults, and families. We have partnered with the Flathead FFA to build chicken coops in the library that were later raffled off to participants. We had a bike week, where local businesses brought in repair equipment and showed participants how to fix their own bikes. With our new outreach librarian we were also able to co-sponsor with Flathead Valley Community College the first ever Mini Maker Faire in Montana that saw over 600 participants of every age category. Another large percentage of the state aid has been used to augment our materials budget.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
All of our Experience Zones are about making unexpected connections, self-sufficiency, and fun. One of the side benefits of the bike experience zone was the Fire Department reading about it and coming over with free bike helmets for kids as part of their safety outreach. A mom and two kids came in to get their bike fixed and when asked if the kids had helmets she sheepishly replied, "No, I haven't been able to get those yet." She and the kids were thrilled and grateful when we produced the fire-department-supplied helmets for the kids. (see photo below). The FFA students loved that they could help smaller kids and adults learn to use power screw drivers and such to build the chicken coops. Like the mini Maker Faire, it was a truly multi-generational, community event. We have added $7,000 to our materials budget which increases the number and variety of books and dvds available to our community.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Having an outreach librarian brings the library to the community. We're no longer thought of as a quiet, old-fashioned, rule-laden, dusty old building filled with mean librarians and tattered books. We're hip and fun and the community now expects (and receives!) interesting and enlightening experiences whenever they encounter us in the community or in the library. Our program attendance is up 44% system wide and our checkouts are up nearly 7%. Lives are being enriched by the services we provide.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Yes, we have. The ImagineIF Library Foundation has monthly "Lunch and Learn" events where we invite prominent community members in to the library to tour and have lunch with us. We have hosted several state Legislators at Lunch and Learn including: Randy Brodehl, Bob Keenan, Ed Leiser, Zac Perry, and Frank Garner. All were complimentary of the services we are providing and each now understand the state aid that we receive and how we allocate it.
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Joliet Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
The patrons of the Joliet Public Library have enjoyed the results of the increased funding made possible by the increase in state aid during FY2013-14. The JPL was able to support a new program for students in the form of Student Book Clubs. We were able to use the funding to purchase book sets that are being used by the seven (7) new Student Book Clubs. These book clubs meet on a monthly basis to discuss a different book each month. Grade levels range from Kindergarten to High School. The books club sets that JPL has made available to these books clubs ensure that the cost of buying a new book each month will not deter a student from participating. The members of the book clubs pick a different book each month, and with the assistance of a facilitator (volunteers from Friends of the JPL) discuss the books, do activities, have treats, and most of all experience the joy of recreational reading. The books are turned in each month and the book clubs new choice is issued to the members. This will enable us to reuse the book club sets in future years. We currently have 33 students and 7 facilitators participating in this program, and look forward to using this funding in future years to increase the titles available to the Student Book Clubs.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
Through student participation in the book clubs we have also seen an increase in parental use of the libraries while the students are participating in their book clubs. This activity has introduce new patrons to the Joliet Public Library while improving the reading skills of the students.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
This program has resulted in encouraging recreational reading in the students. They can hardly wait to get to book club each month. We have heard from their parents and teachers alike that they have seen an increased enthusiasm for both reading and school.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Our local MT. representative, Joanne Blyton, a local area resident and patron of our library, is very supportive of the library in Joliet and we have discussed the many programs and opportunities available for our patrons at the JPL.
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Laurel Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
The increase in State Aid has allowed our library to upgrade three public access computers from Windows XP to Windows 7 with larger hard drives and better software. We also use these monies to help pay for Heritage Quest Online and Ancestry Library Edition for our patrons that enjoy researching their family histories. As another result of the increased State Aid, more staff and trustees have been able to attend MLA in Billings this year. Normally we have one or two attend training but this year we had four attendees. We have also used some of our funding to help pay for our subscription to MontanaLibrary2Go.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
The increase in good, usable computers has allowed our patrons more time to search and apply for jobs online. The new computers are more user friendly with the employment websites. We have seen an increase in our computer usage as a result of better computers. Access by patrons to Heritage Quest Online or Ancestry Library Edition has steadily increased over the last couple of years. It was a pleasant surprise to find that our patrons are really using these sites. Three staff members and one trustee attended training in Billings at MLA. We are hoping that we can be as successful with training for staff next year. After the conference we shared information with one another about new cataloging, change in ILL procedures, and circulation. All of these directly benefit the patrons. Our patrons have enjoyed being able to download eBooks to their eReaders from the library rather than having to purchase the books themselves.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Having the public access new employment opportunities has been the most important accomplishment this year. We have helped many patrons with resumes, job applications and employment websites for quite a while but this year we have seen an increase in success stories from those patrons. They have all commented on how wonderful it was that they were able to come to the library to look for jobs and not worry about getting booted off the computer in the middle of an application. We give preferential treatment to those that are job searching or doing homework/testing for school (at all levels). We have also been able to proctor more online tests because of the increase in available computers.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Not at this time.
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Lewis and Clark Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
In both 2014 and 2015 the Lewis & Clark Library has designated the increase in in state aid per capita/per square mile for outreach services through the Bookmobile. The Library, after many years of planning and saving, launched the Bookmobile in November 2012. The Bookmobile travels throughout Lewis & Clark County (3,458 square miles), providing outreach services to outlying towns and schools that do not have ready access to our library branches, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, two Hutterite colonies, after-school programs, the detention center and much more. People and organizations may also submit a request to have the Bookmobile present at special events. The Bookmobile is a large vehicle, capable of holding around 3,000 books, audios, DVD's, and realia. When the program was first instituted we hired a Bookmobile and Outreach Services Librarian, who is both librarian and driver. We immediately discovered that demand for services was high and growing. In less than one year we discovered that we needed to hire a part-time Bookmobile Assistant in order to keep up with demand and offer a programming component. Without the increase in state aid, the Library would not have been able to create this part-time position. Additional staffing has led to increased services and more Bookmobile stops. Students at the small schools in Canyon Creek and Wolf Creek now have consistent access to the Library's collection and services. Outreach to the two Hutterite communities has been powerful and very well received, they are some of our busiest stops and highest in circulation. Services to nursing homes and assisted living facilities has opened access to the Library for those who cannot access our branches. Outreach to schools in the Helena Valley provided families more convenient access to library services. After school programs and visits to a preschool near the Helena Housing Authority has increased our outreach to low income areas. In addition to checking out books, kids look forward to a story-time on each visit. An off-shoot of the Bookmobile service is our outreach to the county detention center. Although the Bookmobile cannot visit the center, this department reached out to staff at the detention center and offered services. The Bookmobile librarian first went through the small library collection at the detention center, cleaned up the collection and added donated items. Working with detention center staff, we developed a request form for inmates that helps us find the right book for their interests. This program has really taken off, we have since donated a book truck so county staff can deliver books, we have added volunteers to help with the program and we deliver between 80 and 100 books to inmates each month. This is such an important service, typically persons who are incarcerated have low literacy levels and they are bored. They look forward to getting their books and the detention center staff love the program. Outreach at special events such as the roller derby, Kid's Fall Fest, the farmer's market, the County Bike/Walk program that offers bicycle safety to kids has been successful and new partnerships have been developed. In one night at the roller derby 8 new library cards were issued, which is amazing. We are reaching new audiences every day.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
Our local community is the entire county. It is a large county and there are many pockets of small towns and small schools that do not have ready access to our library buildings. The Canyon Creek and Wolf Creek schools now have access to an enhanced collection of reading materials through the Library, the Hutterite communities that are schooled through the County Superintendent of Schools have access to materials, coming to them is the only point of access. Since we began serving the colonies, they have actually had a field trip to the Helena Main Library, the kids enjoyed a story time and were amazed at the number of books we have. They are readers, and this is a life-line for the young women no longer in school. Our users at Eagle Manor, Touchmark, Big Sky, Cooney, Aspen Gardent, Hunter's Pointe and the Masonic Home nursing home and assisted living facilities depend on access to the Library through the Bookmobile. We are now connecting some users with the Talking Book Library at the Montana State Library. The impact of bookmobile services on the younger members of our communities has been phenomenal. Children love the Bookmobile, teachers at the schools we serve have worked closely with Library staff to get just the right book in their student's hands. Since hitting the ground in November 2012, Bookmobile circulation has increased by over 35%; library card holders have increased by 25%. Access to programs such as story time has increased by over 250%. We are reaching new audiences, people who cannot visit the library, we are establishing lasting relationships with our users at each stop, we are providing full access to the county system's collection through the Bookmobile.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
The addition of a part-time Bookmobile Assistant has grown the service exponentially. New service stops, new programming opportunities, have increased access to library services. Many Bookmobile users who did not previously use the Library, have now discovered what resources are available to them. In addition to the Bookmobile, these users have taken advantage of programming for kids, teens and adults available through the Main Library and branches. The single most important accomplishment, reaching new and diverse audiences. Our new Bookmobile users now understand the plethora of services and programs that are available to them. Everyone in the county now knows and recognizes our mobile branch, the Bookmobile. The Bookmobile was parked on the walking mall for Kid's Fall Fest and for Little Tykes Trick or Treat. Over 2,000 people visited the Bookmobile at each event. Library cards were issued, books and materials were checked out and Bookmobile schedules were distributed. The Bookmobile is the busiest of all our branch libraries.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Many, if not all of our legislators are library users and the Director takes every opportunity to connect with local legislators. Most of these encounters have been informal. All are aware of the Bookmobile and a couple of legislators took part in our Bookmobile launching events.
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Liberty County Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
We are planning to spend our State Aid money on purchasing new shelving for our fiction section.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
The fiction section is our most widely used area of the Liberty County Library. This will enable us to purchase more books for our patrons. THANKS!
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
We will be able to move some items around to make the library more user-friendly and the new shelving will increase circulation as we will have room for many more new books.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
I have not at this time.
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Missoula Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
Our increase in funding helped us maintain the programs in the library and improve technology equipment for the staff and the community members. Our users may have computers at home to prepare materials on but they do not have internet access to apply for jobs through online job applications, send job applications prepared offline, help in preparing resumes for the applications and hand holding for those who have not or ever applied for a job online. Our Veterans were given instruction on how to obtain their medical records online and how to update their information. 911 and the Library do a quarterly workshop to help users register or update their information for 911 or reverse 911 information in the community which will help emergency safety in our community. This is very important to the community and must be completed through an online interface with the emergency safety efforts at Missoula County. We were able to hire a VISTA Volunteer to manage our Makerspace and develop more STEAM programs for the community With emphasis on Students.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
The funds for improved technology increased the number of individuals that were registered in the 911 and reverse 911 program in the community, increasing the number of individuals who can receive information about emergencies in Missoula County. This is important to the safety of all members of the County. Funds used for technology also made it possible for faster internet and computers when individuals are applying for jobs, filing taxes or keeping in touch with Medical records. The Veterans records are very difficult for individuals to track but the training for member and their families has made it much easier for the Veterans to have this information to maintain their health and for their families to help them track that information. Increased STEAM training helps students reach the State Initiative of Graduation Matters which began in Missoula and has been encouraged by the Superintendent of Public Instruction in Montana.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Helping people with the things that increase their quality of life which in turn increases the quality of the community and the State.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Not at this time
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North Jefferson County Library District Clancy Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
In January of 2013, I had the privilege of speaking in support of HB 203. I said that our library would use an increase in State Aid to replace our public access computers which at that time ranged between 5 and 8 years old, operated on Windows XP, and each served an average of 137 library members each month. Well, within weeks of receiving the check—we had replaced all three computers. The new computers are faster, more powerful. They allow our patrons to better access information, employment opportunities, learning forums, improve their technology skills, and are so much more compatible with the devices and software that our members use. Over the last year, our computer use has increased by 18%. Our computer man got a great deal on our computers so we ended up with $200 left over. We don't yet know what we'll spend the left over money on--but we would not have updated these computers without having the extra money from the direct state aid increase.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
I asked some of our members what the new computers meant to them. Here are their responses: “I’ve learned to follow my kids on Facebook. They live so far away, but they don’t feel so far away because I get to see them and hear what they are up to. Now with Skype I get to talk to my grandkids. They change so much, and we don’t get to see them often. This way we get to know them, and they get to know us. We don’t miss out on as much.” “I use the computers to do my homework. There isn’t even cell service where I live so when I need help from the online tutors or I need to do research for a project—I always come to the library.” “Cornell University calls us citizen-scientists. We track bird and wildlife populations where we live and all of our information is reviewed and added to a worldwide data base. They are discovering patterns and doing important research based on our work. It is exciting to keep my hand in the science, to connect with all these amazing people who are interested in the same things, and to be a part of the really important work being done all over the world.” “I use the computers to search for work. It has been 35 years since I’ve had to look for a job so it is all new and a lot to learn. I’m trying to bring my computer skills up to date. I search for and apply for jobs. I mapquest routes to interviews. I’ve finally gotten the hang of email, thumb drives, and attaching documents. The library staff has been really helpful and encouraging. I don’t have a computer at home so this is really critical for me.” “I use the computer to fill out FAFSAs for the kids, to do my taxes, to check my email, to get burn permits, and to order stuff I can’t find in town. Thank you for providing it.” “Library staff and I have finally figured out how to make my tablet work. I borrow and download audios and ebooks from the library to the computer and then put them on the tablet. We have set it up so I can Facetime with my kids while I’m in the Bakken. My wife and kids come down to use the library’s wifi for that. It is really nice to have people to make all the technology work the way it is supposed to.” “We keep track of the kids’ activities. Now they expect us to do everything online. We apply for soccer, t-ball, and that’s how we communicate for scouts and 4-H. I find music for church. It is a lot—I don’t know what I did before Google!!” I got a lot more feedback—but I think these comments help you understand why public access computers at the library are so vital to Montana’s small communities. We would not have these computers without the State Aid to libraries approved in the last legislative session. Thank you. Thank you for your service to our state and for the opportunity to speak with you today.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Three up-to-date fast and powerful public access computers are essential to our communities. Many of our residents can not receive or afford access to the internet so depend on us to provide it. So much of the world is now only available on the internet. People connect on line; apply for jobs, benefits, and complete state requirements; and are able to maintain and practice their technology skills. Many of our patrons are older and a little overwhelmed by computers, the internet and technology. They come in to use our computers because all it takes is an investment of their time--we provide all the technology and the help to have them purchase burn permits or file their taxes or connect with friends.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Yes. I testified at the legislature.
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North Valley Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
Our increase in State Aid allowed us to add more hours per week for our Youth Services Specialist. We were also able to increase our FY 2014-2015 budget to cover the costs of new summer programs for youth.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
The additional hours per week allowed our Youth Services Specialist to substantially increase our Summer Reading Program. In the past, our library has had a reading contest combined with one weekly program. Past themes included natural sciences, gardening and wildlife studies. This year, with our increased funds, we continued our reading contest and added 3 summer programs that each met on a weekly basis: Story Time, Youth Garden Club and Summer Science Club. We were able to cover the supply costs for each of these groups and all activities were free to the public.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Our most important accomplishment was the creation and success of our Youth Garden Club. Our group began in May and will continue until the end of the growing season. Children of all ages were able to participate in this group together, and the participants were a diverse and varied group who normally would not be together in our previous programs. Children came from homeschool families, public schools, long-time residents and new arrivals, and ranged in age from 4-17 years. Parents and local gardening experts, including Stevensville Community Garden's leader, Colleen Miller, came together to support the children, share their knowledge and make each activity fun and educational. Our Youth Garden Club provided something for everyone. Our youngest members learned the basics...planting seeds properly, watering, weeding and harvesting. Older children and more experienced gardeners explored the complexities of soil composition, plant structure, pest management and garden chemistry. Finally, each participant was able to interact with their community in a natural and new way. Beginning in June, our club harvested our own produce each week. Children took what they wanted home, and they donated the rest each week to the Free Lunch Program and our local Food Bank. This program taught valuable skills to each participant, and enabled them to provide for themselves and help others at the same time.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Not yet.
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Rosebud County Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
The increase in State Aid has been of great benefit to Rosebud County Library staff and patrons in numerous ways. We have been able to upgrade our facility by installing new light fixtures in the restrooms, as well as adding a changing table; our entry way was improved with the addition of community bulletin boards and a coat tree and boot tray; several areas have been updated with fresh paint; and our children's area has seen significant changes with the addition of a tree-shaped bookcase, toadstool seating, an "Owlphabet" floor rug, and a mini play cube. We used a portion of State Aid, in combination with Community Foundation grants, that allowed us to install 4 study carrels (2 of which are in Teen Territory) and add 2 new public laptops. A small amount of State Aid was used to purchase promotional materials (stylus pens, custom pencils, erasers) that have been distributed during presentations in the schools, at open houses in both Rosebud and Treasure Counties, and to attendees of our technology classes. Because of the additional State Aid funding, we were able to hire Jerry Barlow, a Celtic fingerstyle guitarist, to perform a free to the public concert during our open house on December 12th. Nearly $1,000 of our State Aid was used to purchase new library cards that were not budgeted for.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
We have received so many compliments about recent changes and programs at our library! The library has become someplace where people like to be. We've seen an increase in patrons using the lounge area to read newspapers and magazines, the kids (and their parents) are interacting in the children's area more than ever before, we've had numerous people ask to become volunteers, both locals and travelers are taking advantage of the free wifi and numerous seating areas/options, teens are becoming more interested in the library, we've seen an increase in Treasure County users, and our open house attendance nearly doubled with those who attended thanking staff for bringing in professional entertainment that they would not have had access to otherwise.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
The most important accomplishment that occurred due to our increase in State Aid is that it has allowed us to form better relationships with groups from our schools and communities. In November, we had a bus full of kids from Treasure County take a field trip to the library to use their new library cards and check out the improved children's area; we've partnered with the Forsyth High School shop students who created our tree shaped bookcase, helped turn tree stumps into toadstool seats, and are working on seating for Teen Territory that will be created out of pallets; we combined State Aid funding with Community Foundation grants to provide 4 private areas for computing, whether it be with a patron's own device or one of ours; and we are seeing more patrons from Treasure County using, and even volunteering, in the library. These relationships are essential to our community because we are a rural area and must rely on others and work together in order to be successful in business, programming, and events.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No
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Roundup School-Community Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
The State Aid additional funds this year were very helpful to the Roundup Community Library. We have many community meetings here including a monthly school board meeting, senior parent meetings and other various organizations. We have also had a couple of crafting classes. The funds helped us to replace some of the older tables that were getting quite rickety. The old tables are the original tables from when the library was opened in 1975. The new tables made the meetings much more professional looking and provided a solid base for the crafting classes. We have also expanded our large-print collection. For many years, we were able to checkout a collection of about 40 large-print books every three months from the Parmly Billings Library. The Billings Public Library (new name) discontinued that service when they were preparing to move into the new library.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
The new tables have allowed us to have a better presentation to the public. Our school has also utilized them for classes and other activities in the library. The Large-Print books have allowed us to provide a better service for our patrons. It has allowed us to use less ILL for Large-Print books. Since we are a school-community combined library, the state aid helps the public patrons as well as the students in the school.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Our patrons really appreciate the newer selection of Large-Print books the new solid tables.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
I have spoken with Representative Tom Berry about the importance of what the legislature has provided to the library and our patrons. We talked about the state aid and the EBSCOhost databases. He will probably be in the next legislative session also. He won the primary and will probably win the general election. Our previous senator, Alan Olson is not running for the next session.
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Thompson-Hickman Madison County Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
June 30, 2014 To Whom It May Concern: I appear to have waited until the very last of the fiscal year to submit a report regarding the much-appreciated increase in funding for State Aid to Montana public libraries. The amount was significant, especially for a small rural library. The Thompson-Hickman Madison County Library is poised to expand. Construction on the addition to the library should begin within the next month or so (please follow the link below to see information about the project). Therefore, we are anticipating a need to increase our collection. We used the money to supplement and strengthen our collection. Previously we had purchased library materials either through the McNaughton book lease program or via Amazon.com. This past year we added a subscription to Ingram services, which has allowed us a lot more flexibility and choice in materials. As of Fiscal Year 2015, we have decided to cancel our McNaughton subscription and to focus more on titles we will keep, since we'll soon have the space to shelve more materials. Our aim is to provide any sort of title our customers might want. The extra funds from Montana State Aid certainly helped us in beginning to fulfill that goal. So, thank you! It is gratifying that the State of Montana values its libraries and actively takes measures to support them! Sincerely, Jack Albrecht, Director Christina Koch, Assistant Librarian] Madison County Thompson-Hickman Library Home of the Dick Pace Archives P.O. Box 128 Virginia City, MT 59755 vclibry@3rivers.net http://www.savemontanahistory.com/#!current-library 406-843-5346 Phone 406-843-5347 Fax
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
This is an ongoing process. What we do know is that our library customers greatly appreciate our procuring materials for them in a timely manner. The state fund increase has helped enhance our ability to provide more resources for our customers.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
As mentioned in Statement I, the increase in state funding helped us pay for purchase of titles through our new vendor, Ingram. We will continue using Ingram this year in conjunction with purchases through Amazon.com and Junior Library Guild.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
We have not as yet, but will certainly do so when the opportunity permits. Thank you again for your support!
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Valier Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
Increased State Aid has given us the ability to add on an after school program.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
Our small community does not have services for children. We felt that offering a small after school program, Creativity Center, would help fill this need. This also has had the added benefit of a safe place for latch key children to be and less vandalism around town.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
I think the single most important accomplishment is the growth of the children. They have learned to respect others rights. They have learned to control their impulses. I have a core group of young ladies who have learned a great deal about civic duty. We are in the process of trying to build an addition and these young ladies have twice come up with plans to raise money in support of the library. These are third and fourth grade girls. I am very proud of all the kids. I know that having the extra funds from the state to get this program started has been very beneficial to their growth and a wonderful benefit to their future in this town.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No Response.
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Wedsworth Memorial Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
Wedsworth Memorial Library has used the increase in State Aid to implement the addition of MontanaLibrary2Go.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
Wedsworth Memorial Library serves the communities of Cascade, Ulm, the Missouri River Canyon, Dearborn, Craig and Wolf Creek. The implementation of MontanLibrary2Go, has provided access to downloadable e-books and audiobooks to Wedsworth Memorial Public Library located in Cascade. By joining the state consortium, Wedsworth Library will be able to provide the community with access to over 10,000 eBook and audiobook titles that patrons can download onto their electronic device without having to physically go to the library to check out the material. Due to Wedsworth Library's proximity to rural communities and aging population, this service will provide access to reading materials for those who are challenged by sight impairments, the inability to get to the library on a consistent basis or for those whose native tongue is not English. The patron can easily download the title of their choice to a variety of devices that includes Mp3 players, tablets and e-readers from wherever they are if they have an internet connection.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
The library’s intent and overall goal for this new service to library patrons, including sight-impaired, is to provide access to a greater range of reading material using the latest technology, which in turn will increase the circulation and patronage of the Cascade library.  Montana Library2Go will provide greater access of reading material to those in the community who are either sight-impaired or homebound. Access to these books will greatly improve the quality of life and lessen the isolation of these individuals. Also, many in the greater community live several miles outside of the town limits. This service would provide a means of accessing reading materials without having to leave their home.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
The library will partner with the local community paper, The Cascade Courier, to publicize the new program to increase public awareness of its existence. This would be in the form of news releases and public service ads. We will be sharing our story with our local legislators in the near future.
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Whitefish Community Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
Being a small library with a small budget State Aid funding is essential. Because of the recent increase in State Aid we are able to send more staff to more educational opportunities like MLA, Partners' meetings and workshops. We are very committed to meeting the expectations of our community and the best way to accomplish with is to have a knowledgeable staff.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
When staff is able to attend more workshops it means we can provide better service to our patrons. One recent workshop on Ebsco Host is a perfect example. The staff person who attended that workshop was able to share what she learned with the rest of us. As I told Jo Flick, one person attending a workshop creates a domino effect by which we all learn. Our patrons will definitely benefit from our ability to respond to their needs by fulfilling their requests for information. We also benefit from the face-to-face contact with librarians across the state. Sharing information from meetings like MSC and MLA are imperative.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
The most important accomplishment is the ability to send more of our staff to more workshops. We all return with new ideas, abilities and excitement. Our community expects us to provide the same excellent service we provided when we were part of a county system and because of the additional funding we are able to continue to provide that service. Sharing knowledge learned from these workshops means we are satisfying our mission.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
To some extent we have shared stories and concerns with our legislators and with Richard Qulliin. Our Board of Trustees is also very involved in the future of not only our library, but all libraries.
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Lewis and Clark Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
In both 2014 and 2015 the Lewis & Clark Library has designated the increase in in state aid per capita/per square mile for outreach services through the Bookmobile. The Library, after many years of planning and saving, launched the Bookmobile in November 2012. The Bookmobile travels throughout Lewis & Clark County (3,458 square miles), providing outreach services to outlying towns and schools that do not have ready access to our library branches, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, two Hutterite colonies, after-school programs, the detention center and much more. People and organizations may also submit a request to have the Bookmobile present at special events. The Bookmobile is a large vehicle, capable of holding around 3,000 books, audios, DVD's, and realia. When the program was first instituted we hired a Bookmobile and Outreach Services Librarian, who is both librarian and driver. We immediately discovered that demand for services was high and growing. In less than one year we discovered that we needed to hire a part-time Bookmobile Assistant in order to keep up with demand and offer a programming component. Without the increase in state aid, the Library would not have been able to create this part-time position. Additional staffing has led to increased services and more Bookmobile stops. Students at the small schools in Canyon Creek and Wolf Creek now have consistent access to the Library's collection and services. Outreach to the two Hutterite communities has been powerful and very well received, they are some of our busiest stops and highest in circulation. Services to nursing homes and assisted living facilities has opened access to the Library for those who cannot access our branches. Outreach to schools in the Helena Valley provided families more convenient access to library services. After school programs and visits to a preschool near the Helena Housing Authority has increased our outreach to low income areas. In addition to checking out books, kids look forward to a story-time on each visit. An off-shoot of the Bookmobile service is our outreach to the county detention center. Although the Bookmobile cannot visit the center, this department reached out to staff at the detention center and offered services. The Bookmobile librarian first went through the small library collection at the detention center, cleaned up the collection and added donated items. Working with detention center staff, we developed a request form for inmates that helps us find the right book for their interests. This program has really taken off, we have since donated a book truck so county staff can deliver books, we have added volunteers to help with the program and we deliver between 80 and 100 books to inmates each month. This is such an important service, typically persons who are incarcerated have low literacy levels and they are bored. They look forward to getting their books and the detention center staff love the program. Outreach at special events such as the roller derby, Kid's Fall Fest, the farmer's market, the County Bike/Walk program that offers bicycle safety to kids has been successful and new partnerships have been developed. In one night at the roller derby 8 new library cards were issued, which is amazing. We are reaching new audiences every day.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
Our local community is the entire county. It is a large county and there are many pockets of small towns and small schools that do not have ready access to our library buildings. The Canyon Creek and Wolf Creek schools now have access to an enhanced collection of reading materials through the Library, the Hutterite communities that are schooled through the County Superintendent of Schools have access to materials, coming to them is the only point of access. Since we began serving the colonies, they have actually had a field trip to the Helena Main Library, the kids enjoyed a story time and were amazed at the number of books we have. They are readers, and this is a life-line for the young women no longer in school. Our users at Eagle Manor, Touchmark, Big Sky, Cooney, Aspen Gardent, Hunter's Pointe and the Masonic Home nursing home and assisted living facilities depend on access to the Library through the Bookmobile. We are now connecting some users with the Talking Book Library at the Montana State Library. The impact of bookmobile services on the younger members of our communities has been phenomenal. Children love the Bookmobile, teachers at the schools we serve have worked closely with Library staff to get just the right book in their student's hands. Since hitting the ground in November 2012, Bookmobile circulation has increased by over 35%; library card holders have increased by 25%. Access to programs such as story time has increased by over 250%. We are reaching new audiences, people who cannot visit the library, we are establishing lasting relationships with our users at each stop, we are providing full access to the county system's collection through the Bookmobile. As of December 2015, two new stops have been added, and both are critical to our outreach to the under-served. Added stops are the Florence Critteton House and the Helena Housing Authority.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
The addition of a part-time Bookmobile Assistant has grown the service exponentially. New service stops, new programming opportunities, have increased access to library services. Many Bookmobile users who did not previously use the Library, have now discovered what resources are available to them. In addition to the Bookmobile, these users have taken advantage of programming for kids, teens and adults available through the Main Library and branches. The single most important accomplishment, reaching new and diverse audiences. Our new Bookmobile users now understand the plethora of services and programs that are available to them. Everyone in the county now knows and recognizes our mobile branch, the Bookmobile. The Bookmobile was parked on the walking mall for Kid's Fall Fest and for Little Tykes Trick or Treat. Over 2,000 people visited the Bookmobile at each event. Library cards were issued, books and materials were checked out and Bookmobile schedules were distributed. The Bookmobile is the busiest of all our branch libraries.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Many, if not all of our legislators are library users and the Director takes every opportunity to connect with local legislators. Most of these encounters have been informal. All are aware of the Bookmobile and a couple of legislators took part in our Bookmobile launching events.
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North Valley Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
Our increase in State Aid has allowed us to again add more hours per week for our Youth Services Specialist. We were able to increase our budget for Youth Services last year, and we were able to maintain that higher level of funding this year as well.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
The additional hours and better funding allowed us to boost our Summer Reading Program again. Our weekly Story Time Program featured almost a dozen special guests, all of whom were local Super Heroes (in keeping with the 2015 theme). We also stepped up our Summer Science Club, which was filled to capacity each week. It included more advanced experiments, which we could not have afforded in the past. We also added 2 brand new programs: Homework Hour and Kids’ Book Club. Homework Hour was an open study hall with free tutoring for students of all ages. We started it in the summer just to see how it would go, and the response was quite positive. We have now expanded this program to meet every week during the school year. Kids’ Book Club was a theme-based club for children ages 9-12, and it was the first of its kind in our area. It was the result of several children who had requested a reading club, and we hope to see it grow in the future. All of these programs drew in new and returning patrons, and as a result, our Summer Reading Competition participants nearly doubled from 50 to just over 100, compared to the last year. All of these programs benefited from the increased funding for our Youth Services Department, and they were all free to the public. Without adequate funding in the future, these programs would likely be reduced or cut.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Our single most important program this summer that benefited directly from the increase in funds was the Summer Science Program. The theme this summer was Every Hero Has a Story, and we used that to nickname our program – Super Hero Science Club! We based the program on the idea that most superheroes have some science-related powers: flight, super-strength, color-changing, explosions, DNA alterations, and more. The theme was hard to resist, and each program was filled to capacity. There was a lot of excitement among the participants, and a fair amount of both learning and fun occurred! We were able to afford more experiments and better equipment for the children to work with. Most people think of a science club as a quiet, dull lab. However, our Super Hero Science Club generated quite a bit of enthusiasm from children, families and the community. Several nurses in the community donated old scrubs from local hospitals, and each participant received one. They were able to decorate them and create their own personal lab coat which they used throughout the program and then took home at the end. Our science program was also unique because of the ages of the participants. Getting the teen population involved at our library has always been a struggle, and we chose science as a way to engage them this year. The science club was for children ages 8-18, which is quite a broad range. The results were amazing! Entire families came, with teenagers, middle school students and elementary students. We had some awesome teenage “lab assistants” who helped prepare, demonstrate and clean up. Each session involved older teens working with younger children, and parents often commented on how fun it was to have a unique program that all their children could participate in together. Ultimately, the science club helped create a base of enthusiastic patrons of all ages, including the teens that we have tried so hard to reach. This enthusiasm has spilled over into our other programs, particularly our special events (wildlife visitors, astronomy speakers, etc). We hope to build on this program next year and create a few higher level science programs that are geared more towards teens. Overall, the science club has proven to be a unique program that involves people from all ages and backgrounds throughout our communities, and we are glad that we can provide it!
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Yes. We emailed Fred Thomas, Edward Greef and Nancy Balance. Nancy Balance responded: Thank you so much for sharing the successes of the North Valley Public Library. The programs you developed are truly inspirational. I will share your stories of success with other legislators so they too will gain an understanding of the excellent programs available to our youth through the library system. Sincerely, Rep. Nancy Balance No response from Fred Thomas or Edward Greef
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Wedsworth Memorial Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
The increase in funding helped our Library maintain the quality of services our patrons have grown to expect and depend on. Expenses continually to go up yearly and our income has seen little increase over the years. With the help of the local Friends of the Library, we were able to build a 20’ x 80’ addition onto our Library and remodel the current library building. This has allowed us to upgrade our facilities so they were ADA compliant and increase our services to our patrons. Unfortunately this also meant increased expense for the Library to help finish the project. Our budget is stretched to the limit every year to provide the regular necessary services that are needed. The added expense of helping to finish the expansion project stretched us beyond our limits. The increase in state aid has been a blessing. It enabled the Library to help pay for the remodeling expenses without cutting any normal operating expenses and help buy a new computer which the Library has desperately needed. New and updated technology has become a major goal for our Library. It is difficult to fit this expense into our budget every year.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
We are a low income community and many cannot afford to own a computer, not alone afford the cost of internet services. Our Library has become an essential tool to those seeking employment, applying for unemployment, completing online training, filing taxes, or even as a safe haven for our children. We still do not have enough computers for the use of our patrons. Many have been frustrated by the long wait times to access a computer at the Library. The addition of even one more computer means our patrons do not have to wait in line for such a long period of time and are able to complete the work they come to the Library to accomplish. It provides one more computer station so the Library can add one more safe spot for our children. With one more computer we are able to reach out to more people of our community and are now delivering better service to our patrons. Patrons also have access to an extremely strong wireless internet connection. Individuals can now use WiFi in all areas of the Library as well outside the physical Library and outside Library hours. This allows patrons to access the services they need when they need it, - job hunting, training classes, filing unemployment, paperwork for family services and a multitude of other services. The strength and reliability of our internet and WiFi coverage allows better and greater utilization by individuals for everyday needs. We have received many compliments about the transformation of our Library. It has become a place where all people of all ages like to be. We have seen an increase in the number of patrons using our services, especially the computers.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Adding a computer station was the most important accomplishment that occurred. Our patrons are discovering the added services our Library is providing to the community and have increased computer usage. There is no other place in the community besides the Library for the patrons that do not have access to the internet to conduct business. This Library provides a life essential service. There are more patrons using online training and filing reports online than ever before. Often we have waiting lines to use the computers. One more computer station means one more child will willingly stay in our safe environment. Helping our patrons obtain the services they need to increase their quality of life increases the community’s well-being and boosts the Library’s staff’s morale when they see success for their patrons.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
We have sent emails to legislators in the state over time, but now need to amp up that effort.
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Belgrade Community Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
We are grateful for the assistance of State Aid in obtaining a relevant and up to date variety of library materials. As stated in the Public Library Standards: Collection Development (b) The Board and the Director develop an annual materials budget as part of the library budget Access to the Collection (a) Materials are purchased to ensure a steady flow of materials for the public (c) The library offers interlibrary loan and follows the Montana state interlibrary loan protocols.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
1. We study reports that indicated the use of our items such as date published (especially for non-fiction), number of uses, and relevance of the topic. This information assists us in choosing new purchases that are of interest to our community of library patrons. State aide funds are used for collection development. 2. The number of interlibrary loans we send out and receive each year continues to increase. State Aid funds are used for postage or courier costs.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Number of materials checked out increases each year. This shows that we are serving our public in relevant ways.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No.
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Bicentennial Library of Colstrip

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
N/A
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
N/A
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Bicentennial Library uses state aid to purchase prizes for our programs that we have added to our libraries annual programming. Our county (Rosebud County) allowed us an additional 10 hours for two key staff members this past year. Because of that we have been able to add some extra programs that we would not have been able to add with out the staff hours. Although the hours have been crucial to the success of this extra programming. So has the state aid. Bicentennial Library played a version of monopoly this past October and November called book-oply. Autumn Stewart invented it. State aid was crucial to the success of the game that brought in almost 25 new users and almost 200 participants between the two months. Because we have the state awarded funds we were able to purchase some really neat prizes that we other wise would not have been able to afford. Some times it takes a little sugar to entice people into taking their medicine. I heard more than once the comment "Well I don't usually use the library but I really wanted that kindle." As a librarian it always amazes me that there is an entire population of people who don't use their public library. If part of breaking down the mind set of non-library users is to offer fun programming and prizes to get them in the door, than that's fine. We now of regular patrons that are learning to use the library for the true community and personal asset it is. All because of a little game and some prizes that would not have been possible without the help of state aid.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
N/A
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Big Horn County Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
At the Big Horn County Library we have used state aid to create a teen/tween area by purchasing Bouloum Lounge Chairs. We have also used aid to purchase promotional materials.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
Creating a teen space has benefited our community by giving kids between 11 and 18 a place to call their own. Allowing them space to hang out with friends, access the wi-fi on their devices, as well as a safe place to just be a teen. The promotional materials has benefited our community by letting the patrons know that the library is still here and that we offer more than just books, we offer: montanalibrary2go materials, computer access, wi-fi, and children's programs.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Creating the teen area. Getting teens into the library has been a chore, by giving them an area to call their own has been the most important accomplishment. We now have teens of all ages coming to the library and spending hours here and helping them to get comfortable in the library and getting them to start using it more. Hardin has no real place for teens to go and hang out safely. This has filled that void.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No Response
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Bitterroot Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
The funds the Bitterroot Public Library receives as part of the per capita state aid has a direct impact on our library and the services we can offer our community. The funds allow us to provide consistent, quality programming for residents in our community as well as purchase materials –for both entertainment and education – that are needed or desired by our library’s users. Over the past few years, state aid funds have helped us modernize our library by purchasing a self-checkout machine and a wireless printer, making the library a more user-friendly space. State aid funds have also helped with allowing staff to travel to continuing education opportunities, such as conferences and workshops, and bring back to our library ideas and knowledge about how to improve or expand our services. Maintaining state aid to libraries at its current level is of vital importance to our library.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
Our community has benefited from increased programming opportunities (such as Adult Coloring Club), increased materials available for check-out, and increased efficiency in using library services. Training and continuing education has also helped improve the quality of service that staff provide to the public.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
It is extremely difficult to choose just one accomplishment, but based on feedback from the community it seems that our expanded programming has been incredibly well-received and appreciated. We try to avoid duplicating any existing programs in the community, and all our programs are free of charge, and library users greatly appreciate this and the sense of community and connection that is fostered through our public programming.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
We have shared our story with our county commissioners, but not with any of our representatives in state legislature.
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Boulder Community Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
We are a county library system and it is our goal to reach out to the whole county. To do this, we purchased and placed a "Free Little Library" in Basin, MT. To help some of our youngest patrons, we also purchased and AWE Learning Tablet. The Early Literacy station contains fun, educational games and books for our preschool children that are pre-loaded onto the tablet. Parents do not have to worry about whether their children will end up on a website that may not be appropriate for them because the tablets are not connected to the internet.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
When we talked to the residents of Basin about how the library could better serve their needs, they all seemed to agree that their community did not need a full service library. We tossed around ideas like a "bookmobile" or a satellite library; unfortunately these were not very cost effective ideas. That is when we decided to place a "Free Little Library" in Basin. We use items that have been donated or we have duplicates of to stock the library. The community held a celebration for the unveiling and threw a party in an effort to get word out to as many community members as they could. One of them even made a wonderful book shaped cake. Many of our Basin residents have come to the library to express their gratitude for having the "Free Little Library". We have only had to restock the library once in the past five months. Many of the residents are using it to exchange their own books. It is exciting to bridge the gap between the communities. More and more Basin residents are using the Boulder Community Library so has served a dual purpose in my opinion. We have been working hard on trying to keep our Early Literacy programs fresh and new for our patrons and their families. Parents like being able to teach their little ones how to use the computer without the worry of the Internet. All of the programs are educational in nature but still fun and exciting for our youngest patrons. It has been watching the faces of the children as they work out puzzles or try sounding out the words on the screen. We have the Head Start children take turns playing with it and we take it to our local daycare to do "digital storytime". Kids today need to have access to technology at an early age to prepare them school; I discovered children in Kindergarten are using IPads in their everyday curriculum. Many of our parents cannot afford IPads and do not want their children out on the internet, so this is a safe alternative for them
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
I believe placing a "Free Little Library" in Basin was one of our biggest accomplishments this year. For years, Basin has felt like it was a forgotten part of Jefferson County. When we placed the "Free Little Library" in Basin, it showed them that they were an important part of the County. It showed them that Boulder welcomed them and boy did they welcome us back! They are inviting us into their community like they never have before. The Basin School called and wanted to know if I would come to the school once a month a do a storytime for the kids and let them know what new programs were happening at the library. Two Basin authors have since come to the library to do book talks. A group of talented gardeners have volunteered to plant and take care of an "edible garden" in front of the Boulder Library. School children from Basin have asked if we could put another "Free Little Library" up containing just children's books because they do not have access to the school library in the summer time. I believe libraries are the center of our communities and this "Free Little Library" proves it!
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No Response
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Bozeman Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
The increase in state aid has allowed us to increase and update Internet access for patrons, allow patrons to use enhanced projection capability in our large community room and offer important safety training for our staff.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
Community members enjoy being able to share movies, powerpoint presentations and other visual presentations with the new projector in our Community room. The Library is both safer and quieter due to our staff learning new skills in de-escalating conflict with difficult or troubled customers, which our patrons appreciate. Our Computer Services department fills up with patrons as soon as our doors open; they all appreciate being able to use the newest Microsoft software on our public computers, and they appreciate more work stations in our Computer Training Lab.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Thanks to state aid funds, we modernized our public computers by upgrading from Microsoft Office 2007 to Office 2016. Patrons now use and receive training on the most current software tools such as Word and Excel. We purchased furniture that allowed us to expand our public computer capacity. This means more people can look for jobs, conduct business, and get computer training at the Library. We funded of a community-based strategic plan which led directly to our new bookmobile service. The bookmobile starts serving the residents of Gallatin County in 2017 and meets several of the goals outlined in the strategic plan. We also used state aid funds to purchase equipment to use with family programs, to upgrade projection equipment in our Community Meeting Room (which serves over 13,000 people per year), and for staff continuing education like Crisis Intervention Training with Sgt. Jim Anderson of the Gallatin Valley Sheriff’s Office. The CIT training has helped the staff be more compassionate and to safely navigate difficult situations in the Library. With our annual visitors up over 10,000 in the last decade, the services funded by state aid are more crucial than ever. Our Library hosts an average of 34,000 – 36,000 visitors each month, many of whom use the enhanced services and equipment provided by the increased state aid. Please continue to support the people of Montana by extending this aid of 40 cents per capita; it has made a critical difference in libraries’ ability to educate and serve patrons with free access for all. Thank you very much for your help!
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No
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Broadwater School and Community Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
The library purchased 9 new computer monitors with the money. This purchase helped improve the library standard of library services. The old monitors dated back to 2005-2006.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
The old monitors were a mere 14 inches and difficult to read. They broke frequently. The new monitors are 22" which was needed for our older population in the county. The adult and children computer users love the new monitors.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
The money allowed the library to go from adequate to excellent computer service. Without this State Aid these monitors would have never been purchased and our computers would be stuck in 2005.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No
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Carnegie Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
The Carnegie Public Library in Big Timber chooses to use our State Aid monies to boost our book budget. The most used and appreciated section of our library is The New Book Shelf. "I can't believe such a small library has the book I am looking for", is a sentence heard frequently from our visiting patrons. Our regular patrons have come to appreciate their ready access to a wide variety of new reading material as new books are not readily available from Inter Library Loan. We are also able to order most of the books requested in our book suggestion box.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
Our patrons have easy access to most new fiction and non-fiction titles which is very important in a small community that relies less on television and the internet for news and entertainment than some larger more centralized communities. The added funding is helping us to fulfill our collection development policy.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
We were able to stock our shelves with all the books considered for the National Book award in Fiction and Non-fiction. It is important to make available as rich and diversified a collection as you possibly can.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No
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Dillon Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
Montana State Aid to the Dillon Public Library has been the single source of increased revenue and thus single source of dedicated discretionary spending for our little library. Dillon Public Library was able to purchase an AWE Digital Learning Computer for early learners. This is a computer dedicated to a variety of activities which enhance early learning leading to successful school careers for our youngest patrons. The computer also assures parents that their children are not "wasting time" looking for and playing computer games devoid of learning goals. State Aid has allowed us to acquire digital resources for our patrons to explore. We have been using Universal Class (an online resource of over 531 courses offered for continuing education credit) and Zinio (an online subscription to over 50 popular magazine titles) for two years now. Last year we also subscribed to the New York Times online for our patrons. The Library carries only one national newspaper, and the availability of the New York Times has greatly increased our patron's access to credible national news. We are tracking the use of those resources and indications are that all of them are increasing in popularity. Without State Aid, our library could not afford to offer these kinds of digital resources. Most importantly, State Aid funds allowed us to completely replace all of the library's computers. We had not had the money to contemplate doing that since the Gates Grant which purchased computers for libraries. Our computers were in deplorable condition and we were just limping along with outdated technology. State Aid, along with the Tech Soup organization, allowed us to enter an era of fewer computer problems and fewer complaints about the computers we have for the public to use.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
I feel like I answered this in I.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
I feel like I answered this in I. New computers for the Library was a godsend. People had quit relying on our computers because of how slow, outdated, and problematic they were. We're seeing increased use once again and our patrons are grateful that we spent the money to maintain our public computer stations.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Not yet! We intend to attend Legislative Day in Helena and tell our stories to our legislators then.
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Drummond School & Community Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
The Drummond School & Community Library has benefited from the increase in State Aid in many ways. Improvements to the services we provide to our patrons includes increased hours to the public, additional staff, increased programming, and better computer and internet services.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
The accomplishments of increased staff, extended hours and better internet benefit our local community. While we still count on volunteers to coordinate some of the programming and library operations, we have appreciated having a library assistant to work extended hours and a clerk to manage bookkeeping. By hiring a library assistant, we have been able to extend hours to the public, including Saturdays. With her help, we are improving services to teens and adults. Patrons frequently visit the library to use the wireless and internet even after library hours. I frequently see patrons using the wi-fi from their vehicles and youngsters sitting on the bench outside of the library with tablets whether the library is open or not. Patrons use the library for research and leisure reading and local community members attend programs and classes that were limited before we had additional staff and fewer computers with internet access.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
One of the most important accomplishments because of our increase in State Aid is the ability to offer extended hours. Patrons appreciate being able to visit the library on weekday afternoons, evenings, and Saturdays. Limited hours were difficult for people to schedule. Now people use the library to do their taxes, file reports, conduct searches on the computer and view personal email. I have had the pleasure of meeting travelers who count on libraries like ours to use the computers or read the paper between stops. Another important service that our library is able to provide is better internet. We have recently purchased computer thin clients which allow the technical coordinator from the school to help monitor our computers and troubleshoot from his building. Patrons have the ability for quicker searches and more reliable connections.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Our library hosts a Meet and Greet each spring and it became a nice opportunity to share stories with our local legislators, however, I have not personally contacted legislators previously.
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George McCone Memorial County Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
Part of our per capita money this year will be used to purchase a Digital Passport Photo System. The paperwork for purchasing a passport can be done here at our local courthouse but our then people have to drive over 50 miles to another town to have their picture taken. We are doing this as a service to our community. We are going to start an adult coloring club this spring so we have purchased supplies for that club. Along with those supplies we have purchased a coffee machine so they will be able to have a hot coffee while coloring. It will also be used by our patrons and our Book Club. We are going to have a book sale and "Patron Appreciation Day" in June so some of our money will be used to serve a lunch, door prizes and a small gift for each patron that comes in that day. Since our the foundation of our library has been fixed we now need to start re-doing some much needed repairs inside the library. Per capita money will help with that project. A portion of the money was used to purchase new non-fiction books for the children's department. New and updated laptops.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
Buying The Passport Photo System will save people in our community from driving to a different town to complete getting a passport and being able to do all the business right here in Circle. The coloring club will give the older people in the community something new to do. We hope to get them out and about and using the library. Combining a book sale with an appreciation day will be good as a fund raiser and also show our patrons how much we appreciate their support in making exciting changes to our library. Updating some of the older parts of the library will show the community that we care about how our library looks in making it more comfortable to stop in and visit. Our young adult non-fiction section has not been updated for awhile so the young adults will enjoy having new books to check out. We are hoping some of these new changes will bring new people into the library.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
We really feel that offering the passport pictures is something that will be essential to our small community. Having new and updated laptops will allow more people to access the internet when they stop in to check out books or to just browse the internet.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
We will after our next board meeting.
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Glacier County Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
Glacier County Library used this generous increase to reach out to the newest members of our community and their parents. We collaborated with our local hospital to implement a "Read to Your Baby" bookbag program. This program provides a "Read to Your Baby" bookbag filled with a new board book, finger puppet, Ready2Read Early Literacy information, and brochures about our library and programming to new parents or parents-to-be.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
The collaboration and communication that took place in the planning of this project increased local awareness of the quality Early Literacy programming that is taking place at our library. Our local hospital was just introducing it's new OB unit, so they planned an open house which was well attended by many in the community. Our library's Teen Advisory Group assisted us in assembling the bookbags and our Assistant Librarian, Bess Hjartarson, set up a table at the open house to give out the bags and visit with people about the programs at the library. Several of the Teen Advisory Group members also helped out with this. Through this effort, our community gained awareness of what the library offers and it was a wonderful opportunity for several important stakeholders in our small town to work together.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
The outreach to new parents to make them aware of the programming available at the library and the importance of Early Literacy and sharing books with their baby. We have seen an increase in babies at our story time and an increase in general awareness of the library and it's programs.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No.
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Livingston-Park County Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
With our State Aid we were able to add a part-time Adult Programming Coordinator to the staff. Previously this work was performed on an ad hoc basis by other staff members and couldn't get the attention it deserved.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
People have access to and are more aware of library programming that may benefit them.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Our Adult Programming Coordinator applied for and got a grant from Humanities Montana, and so Livingston (and the Library) is playing host to 'Hometown Humanities', meaning over 30 programs are or will be available for the community's enlightenment, entertainment, and education.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Not yet....
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Missoula Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
Missoula Public Library has expanded outreach to under served populations in our community with the additional State Aid. The Web on Wheels bus visits the Homeless Shelter, Rescue Mission, Communities without library services and provides extensive technology help for users that need extended time for one-on-one help with e-readers, laptops, and downloadable devices. The bus also provides services to some Senior Centers and Housing Developments. Outreach is continued with the Homebound program which also visits Senior Residents and those users who are not able to physically come to the library for materials. A Reference Librarian is available to provide Readers Advisory and select items for a browsing collection on a three week rotation. Other outreach efforts are provided by many of the staff through participation in Downtown Association events, YWCA programming, and other partnerships in the community. The library is always willing to provide services outside the building if the staffing is available. "Kids Table" has expanded during the summer months. The Food Bank provides lunches for 0-18 year olds and the library provides nutrition for the mind. Story telling, free reading, hands on activities and time for getting involved in a good book discussion is a great way to pass a few hours at the library on a hot or rainy day.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
*Literacy for all ages *Technology education for all ages and levels *Library services for everyone of all economic and educational levels.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Missoula is a very educated community and it is hard to believe that there would be a problem with citizens not having opportunities for literary events. The Library serves all people and that is why it is important for us to be out in the community where we can make a difference in all lives. Partnering with the Food Bank, other educational entities and getting out of the library are very important.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
Our County has many opportunities to visit legislators. We all travel to sessions and have lunch with them, the library has an event prior to sessions where we showcase the library programs and we have county thank you parties at the end of sessions.
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North Lake County Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
Our increase in State Aid has allowed our library to provide access for our patrons to many electronic databases, including those for study, ancestry research, and do-it-yourself projects.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
As a smaller community, we are proud to be able to provide access to electronic resources that are of interest to our patrons. We have many individuals who have used the automotive databases to do their own vehicle repairs. It has been an invaluable tool for those you cannot afford to take their vehicle to a mechanic. It also helps them evaluate whether they can do it or if they will require a professional. The small engine repair database is very popular here on Flathead Lake for water craft repairs. We have also had patrons use it for other small motors like motorcycles, ATVs, lawnmowers, and snowmobiles. It has been a great tool for DIYers who need to do minor repairs or tune-ups to their equipment. Our Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest subscriptions have aided many patrons in their genealogy research. It is wonderful to hear stories from patrons about what they have found in their family history and to be able to assist them in delving further into their genealogy research. We believe that providing access to these tools for everyone - kids and adults - is very important.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
No Response
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No
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North Valley Public Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
During the last 3 fiscal years, the increase in State Aid funding for our library has been an invaluable assistance. The current amount of State Aid that North Valley Public Library receives is approximately equal to our yearly Children’s Programming Budget. As a direct result of these funds, our library has doubled its small programming budget over 3 years. These funds have allowed us to increase the quality and variety of programs that we offer to families, young adults and children. We have also been able to increase funding for staff who run our art, science and after school programs. In 2014, we expanded our Summer Reading program to include three aspects: a reading competition, a science club and a Garden Club, run in cooperation with the Stevensville Community Garden. It was a fantastic summer, with increased staff hours made possible by additional funding. Our new programs created enthusiasm throughout the community and our library patrons. In 2015, our Summer Reading program expanded its Science Club, doubled its reading competition participants, invited puppet shows and dance programs, and we created a Kids Book Club (pilot program). The theme was Super Heroes, and we had an incredible amount of participation from local Super Heroes, including Smokey the Bear and the US Forest Service, Missoula Smokejumpers, Montana Highway Patrol, Stevensville Volunteer Fire Department and the Clarkfork-Bitterroot Search and Rescue Dogs. With a few additional hours for staff, we also started our first After School Program in 2015. This program is an open study hall with free tutoring, snacks (often donated), monthly art lessons, and other educational activities. In 2016, we maintained our Summer Reading programs, and also expanded our summer Science Club again, working in partnership with spectrUM Science Discovery Area. This allowed us to create multiple sessions based on age groups, and through the combination of spectrUM’s generous contributions and our budget, we were able to afford science programs that were unique and engaging, including DNA extraction and eyeball dissection! Our After School program has also added a Lego Station, a specialized reading tutor volunteer and coloring supplies available every week, in addition to art lessons throughout the year. In a nutshell, the increase in State Aid has allowed us to substantially increase the quality and number of programs that we are able to offer to our community, and especially to our children and families. In the fall of 2014 we had 1 weekly program (Story Time). We now have 4 weekly programs (Story Time, Music Makers, After School Program, Captain Hooked on Books), in addition to our ever-expanding Summer Programs. Our current budget also allows us to invite multiple educational, high quality presentations to the library, serving children, teens and families. Among these programs are Star Tour (national astronomy program), Sock Rockerz, Doc Wild, Animal Wonders, and Bat Honey Puppeteers, along with numerous local specialists who volunteer their time for programs (First Aid for Children, Rocky Mountain Labs, etc). We are also able to pay a few extra staff hours for these events, which often occur in the evening after normal library hours, in order to accommodate our patrons. These programs are filled to capacity, and we’ve received amazing enthusiastic responses from our families and parents in particular. North Valley Public Library is beyond grateful for the funding that we receive. It has enabled us to expand and serve our community in so many ways. We understand that the economy has changed and budgets are always in flux. However, we’d like to say thank you, and emphasize that any substantial decrease in funding will lead to a reduction in the programs that we are able to offer. We appreciate whatever we receive from the state, and we always put it to the best use possible.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
No Response
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
No Response
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No Response
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Rosebud County Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
Facility upgrades have led to increased numbers of patrons visiting Rosebud County Library, as it is now a more inviting environment. In particular, we went from having just a few tweens/teens come in each week to having over 20 tweens in our Rosebud County Coders weekly computer programming club and anywhere from 20 to 40 middle and high school students attend Math Night each week! We also now have more tweens/teens stopping in after school to work on their homework independently.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
Our local tweens/teens are benefitting because there aren't many options of places to "hang out" in a small town. When they spend time at the library, their parents know they are in a safe environment and staying out of trouble. They are also learning how to program computers and getting free math tutoring so there has been an educational benefit for those who use the library.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
We’ve upgraded our facility from new light fixtures to fresh paint, but the most important benefit from the State Aid increase was forming better relationships with our communities. More patrons use the lounge area to read; kids and parents are interacting in the children’s area like never before; we went from very few tweens/teens using the library to regular usage by these groups; and more people are interested in volunteering. We’ve partnered with Forsyth High School shop students to create a tree-shaped bookcase and mushroom stools for the children’s area as well as seating for Teen Territory created out of pallets – and both locals and travelers use our free WiFi.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No
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Roundup School-Community Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
The Roundup School/Community Library uses its State Aid to pay for our online database services. These databases ensure our patrons have the opportunities to use such features as our Interlibary Loans, MontanaLibrary2Go, Ancestry, and World Book Online. These online tools are very important with the increased trends of technology in our every changing world.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
Having access and the availability of all of our online resources has increased our available reading resources for all of our patrons both from an online standpoint as well hard copies received from other libraries. This access will continue to spurn interest in reading advocacy.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
With our library in a rural community, it is very important to have available resources that can be accessed from home. Many of our patrons live many miles from the library so they are unable to utilize our resources in person on a daily basis. If we couldn't have these online resources, many of patrons wouldn't benefit from the great resources we provide.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No
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Sheridan County Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
For the past two years, we’ve used our State Aid money to focus on improving our children’s and youth print collections and Story Time programming. The State Aid funds were used to help offset the cost of attending the Ready2Read Rendezvous in Bozeman and to purchase much needed updated children’s materials. After weeding old, outdated materials, we were able to purchase new materials for both fiction and non-fiction collections. Having new books to incorporate into our Story Times has made a big difference in our programming and attendance!
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
We have more children and their families (and caregivers) using our Children’s are than we ever have before. Families read and play together and after Story Times, the parents visit with each other while children play. We have also started collaborating with our local elementary 3rd grade classes which visit monthly to learn about the library and the resources we have available. They love having new books to check out when they visit!
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
Accomplishment: seeing a 44% increase in our children’s circulation over last year. While we have fewer materials on the shelves after our weeding project, what we now have is a growing collection with new materials that are circulating on a regular basis. The plan is to continue to focus the State Aid money on our children’s and youth collections and utilize the funds toward more STEM-based materials and projects for our Summer Reading programs. We’re not there yet, but the Aid received so far has given us the boost the library very much needed to serve our patrons.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No.
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Whitefish Community Library

I. How has your increase in State Aid improved your library’s ability to meet or exceed your library’s Standard level?
State Aid has benefited the Whitefish Community Library in many ways. Most importantly it has allowed us to add another part time position, making it possible for us to focus on offering quality, on-on-one service to our local library users as well as our out-of-town visitors. Our community is a small resort town, depending on local city tax for our finding. While our city population is relatively small, our service area is considerably broader and the influx of tourists creates an extra strain on our limited budget. State Aid has helped us maintain and create special programs in the library. We were able to add two new weekly programs (in addition to our Thursday Story Hour). We now have a certified therapy dog and French & Spanish classes every week for children of all ages. We are nestled between the middle school and BN train station and decided to install security cameras inside and outside the library for an added sense of security for all of our patrons. (This was accomplished with additional funding from a WLA grant.) State Aid has helped us facilitate more outreach in our community. Because of our added staff person, we can now visit pre-schools and elementary schools. We were able to purchase materials for constructing our "Little Free Libraries" located in North Valley Hospital, The Springs, Coffee Traders and North Valley Food Bank. Again, because of our additional staff we are able to offer more one-on-one time with patrons needing assistance with e-readers, access to websites, scanning and micro-film viewing.
II. How did the accomplishments you described in Question One benefit your local community?
Not only have these accomplishments benefited our local community but just as importantly, our out-of-town visitors and part time residents. Having free access to 18 PACs, scanning capabilities and microfilm are services not supported financially by out-of-town visitors. Being able to take our programs out of the library and into the community has allowed us to reach a segment of the population that may not be aware of the services the library offers and we hope, supports and encourages literacy for all ages.
III. What was the single most important accomplishment in this reporting period that occurred due to your increase in State Aid and why do you feel it was the most essential to your community?
The addition of a staff person is probably the most important accomplishment because it has enabled us to structure our schedules to accommodate additional services and concentrate on those we already offered.
IV. Have you shared your stories with your local legislators? If so, please elaborate.
No.
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